We’ve all heard the statistics: Out of nine companies, only one will succeed. It doesn’t stop people from pursuing their dream of starting their very own startup.

If you ever wondered how many people start their own business every year, try 100 million globally each year! That is a staggering number to grasp – $1,532 in venture capital is invested every second. That means, even though the percentage of those who fail is ninety percent, $48.3 billion a year is spent a year chasing the entrepreneurial dream. Out of that global number, 300,000 people set up a new company every year in Britain.

I don’t think that there is some sort of special ingredients that go into a successful startup. Sometimes you sit back and look at some people and wonder how on earth they ever became so successful. Other times, you can see someone who’s lack of success is puzzling. Either way, if you’re one of those vast numbers of people giving business a try, don’t think that because your new business reaches a slump that you are in your final throes of death.

Companies Almost Die and Comeback All of the Time

Think of Starbucks: It actually opened up for business in 1971 – over 46-years-old by now! But why wasn’t it until the 20 years later that its business really became known. For the first part of Starbucks’ life, it was just a coffee shop that sold coffee beans in Seattle.



Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it didn’t seem that the coffee brand had much hope of seeing any major growth like that of McDonald’s. Today, Starbucks has literally gone global, reaching as far as southeast Asia.

Want People to Love You, Give Away Free Stuff

In an experiment done by Journal of Marketing, it showed that when people were offered the choice of 33 percent off a bag of coffee or 33 percent more coffee in the bag for free, consumers would choose the free coffee. In actuality, in terms, monetary savings, 33 percent off the price was the best option. This means people love free stuff.

This is why companies love to give away corporate gifts. Gift giving in order to soften people’s hearts has been around since the beginning of time. It’s a tried and true method of winning consumers’ respect for your brand as well. Does it mean it is the only thing that you should focus on? Of course not.

There are many things to consider when you begin to look into the whole idea of promotional merchandising, such as where will people store it? Will it continue to be used throughout the life of the item, or will it just get tossed somewhere to collect dust? Does it have an effective call to action message?

 

Some of the Best Promotional Items in History

  • Could you imagine over 2,000 contacts made by only giving people free magnets? Well, that’s what Volkswagen experienced with their magnetic panels that had realistic photos of scratches and dents on them. In promoting their Polo model as being a small but tough vehicle, they had thousands of these cool magnets made and placed them on unsuspecting people’s vehicles. What a cute little campaign with great results.
  • Who has ever needed to write a phone number down and found that the only paper available was toilet paper? Me neither. Either way, the School of Visual Arts in New York thought it would be funny to make rolls of toilet paper that looked like actual rolls of writing paper. Later they would create different everyday items such as napkins, sugar packets and tray liners to look like notebook paper. At the bottom of each item was written the word “Think,” along with the name of the school and its address.
  • One of the coolest promotional items on this list has to do with hot sauce and television. A lot of television networks will send out press kits for upcoming shows with promotional items inside, and the show runners at the TV show Fringe did it right. Since the Observers are people who have to eat spicy foods in order to stay alive, as part of the shows 2009 press kit they sent Tabasco sauce with the label “Observers Are Here.” Now that is a memorable example of a promotional item.  

So there you have it. If you want to give your new business a spark of energy, follow the big boys – try the tried and true promotional merchandise.

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